Staff, faculty and students at Miami University's Oxford campus reduced campus electric use by 500 kilowatts (kW) in early August during record heat in response to a request by energy management engineer Anthony Ferraro of the physical facilities department.
Added to a 500 kW reduction by the chiller plant, the total campus savings was one megawatt (MW). The reduction was both an important energy and cost savings: according to Ferraro, Duke Energy charges Miami higher rates for electricity loads over 20 MW, and during the heat wave the campus load reached 18.8 MW, thanks to the 1 MW reduction.
We have another opportunity to reduce consumption Thursday and Friday as temperatures near 100 are predicted, adds Ferraro. Turning off hallway lights and unneeded appliances will help reduce electric load.
With students back on campus it will be difficult to stay under 20 MW if faced with another heat wave, but the campus community can take steps to reduce electricity use in general, including:
•Turn off fluorescent lights when leaving a room for a period of 20 minutes or longer.
•Turn off incandescent bulbs if they're not needed for one minute or longer.
•Turn off your computer overnight, and if you're not using it for an hour or more.
•Turn off your monitor instead of using a screen saver to save more electricity.